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Chris Vargo and Danielle Wallce with The Battleship NC and Bonnie Thayer Dubier with Thayer Consulting

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Chris Vargo, Assistant Director and Danielle Wallace, Programs Director of Battleship NC

Chris is a native to Erie, Pennsylvania and married to Christy Walker Vargo of Reidsville, NC. Together they have two children Jackson (12) and Luke (7). Chris attended the University of Phoenix and graduated with a BS – Management and a AA – Electronics Technology. On June 15, 2012 Chris assumed position as Assistant Director for the Battleship NC.
Coast Guard Career:
Enlisted – 11 September 1990
Obtained Rank of Chief Electricians Mate (E7) – 1999
Commissioning Source – Officer Candidate School – May 2000
Aids to Navigation Officer
Prevention Officer

Danielle Wallace was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Because Honolulu is a huge tourist destination, it seems like Danielle was destined to work in the tourism/attraction profession.  Danielle graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in English and earned her Masters in History from UNC Wilmington.  Danielle worked at the North Carolina Aquarium at Ft. Fisher for 5 years as the registrar.  While there, she was given the opportunity to expand her skill set by decorating their Halloween event, Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea.  Due to that success, she was later charged with developing a haunted house for the event which resulted in The Pirates of Fish Hook Bay.  Danielle moved from the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher to the Battleship North Carolina as the Programs Director in October, 2007.  As the Programs Director, she is responsible for the Battleship’s rental program which includes corporate dinners, weddings & receptions, and paranormal investigations.  She also developed and directs select Battleship special events which include the Easter Egg Hunt Carnival, Batty Battleship’s Halloween Bash, and Ghost Ship.  Danielle’s master’s thesis was a visitor study of the Battleship entitled The Visitor’s Battleship.  Based on interviews and visitor observation, she determined that visitors personalize the Battleship based on their own history which results in meaningful experiences for them.  She is very happy and proud to be a member of the Battleship team.

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Bonnie Thayer Dubier- Thayer Consulting

Thayer Consulting LLC is a full service advertising agency that specializes in social media management, promotional campaigns, media placement, production, web development and anything advertising! We specialize in “out of the box” campaigns to increase your business presence in new media and perfect your campaigns to achieve the greatest ROI! No challenge is too big! Advertising does not have to be boring!

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University of North Carolina Wilmington Chancellor Gary Miller and Cape Fear C.C. President Ted Spring

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Gary Miller- University of North Carolina Wilmington

Dr. Miller is the fourth chancellor and seventh leader of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. A dedicated educator, Dr. Miller brings extensive academic and administrative experience to UNCW. His professional expertise incorporates the breadth and depth of American higher education, from his own learning experiences as a student at the College of William and Mary and as a faculty member at Mississippi State University, Weber State University and the University of Mississippi to his work as a dean at the University of the Pacific and, most recently, as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research at Wichita State University.

At UNCW, Dr. Miller is leading a campus-wide initiative to reaffirm important university values to meet strategic goals in uncertain economic times. Building on nationally recognized academic and research programs, Dr. Miller is promoting community partnerships, entrepreneurship and innovation as ways for the university to “Invent the Future.”

Dr. Miller is active in national organizations. He serves on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Committee for Economic and Workforce Development. He participated as a member of the task force that developed the student learning outcomes component of the Voluntary System of Accountability, a joint project of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU: formerly NASULGC) and the AASCU. He is a member of the North Central Regional College and University Advisory Council of the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

He is married to Georgia Nix Miller. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.

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Ted Spring-Cape Fear Community College

Dr. Spring became president of Cape Fear Community College in November of 2012. Before coming to CFCC, Dr. Spring served as the president of New River Community and Technical College in West Virginia for seven years. He has over four decades of experience in higher education and a great enthusiasm for the mission of community colleges.

Throughout his career, he has served as a vice president of academic affairs, executive vice president, academic dean and department chair. Early in his career, Dr. Spring taught at both the community college and university levels.

He is a first generation college student and a graduate of a community college. He earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree from Adirondack Community College in New York, a Bachelor of Science degree from Castleton State College in Vermont, a Master of Education degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in College Park. He and his wife Andrea live in Wilmington. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.

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The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce Special Edition: Voice of Business


The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce‘s first show featured Connie Majure-Rhett, Chamber President and CEO, as host. Connie welcomed into the studio Mayor Bill Saffo, Jana Jones Halls, and Rickey Godwin. The conversation was centered on the impact of youth violence on business in Wilmington and what the city is doing about it.

About The Blue Ribbon Commission:

The Blue Ribbon Commission Action Teams continue to work toward developing processes and programs that will reduce youth violence, reduce drop outs, increase graduation rates and increase community participation in the Commission’s efforts.

Mayor Bill Saffo- Blue Ribbon Commission Chair

A native of Wilmington, Saffo graduated from Hoggard High School in 1978 and went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree from UNC-Wilmington.  He is a real estate agent with Seacoast Realty in Wilmington.  Bill’s civic involvement includes the Community Boys and Girls Club and the Rotary West Club in Wilmington.  He is a member of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

Bill’s parents are first generation Greek immigrants.  He loves to spend time with friends and family.  Bill finds it very satisfying to serve as Mayor of his hometown.

Executive Director- Jana Jones Halls

Jana Jones Halls has just been hired as the new Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Commission. Mrs. Jones Halls received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.  She has been an integral part of the Cape Fear community for a number of years where she was an educator at the Friends School of Wilmington, and has taught at DREAMS of Wilmington.  Prior to accepting this position, Jones Halls was an Americorp HandsOnSchools VISTA volunteer and community outreach coordinator at D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, Wilmington, where she restructured and created a volunteer, enrichment, mentoring and community outreach program.

As the Executive Director for the BRC, Jones Halls will provide leadership in the ongoing development and implementation of their strategic plan to address youth violence in the Youth Enrichment Zone.  She will serve as the liaison between the BRC and D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy and will educate and engage the community around the issues of youth violence.

Rickey Godwin

Godwin is a partner at McGladrey LLP, a provider of assurance, tax and consulting services with more than 6,700 employees in 75 cities nationwide. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from East Carolina University and has 25 years of experience providing tax compliance and advisory services to corporations, partnerships and LLCs. Godwin was a partner with a large regional firm prior to joining McGladrey and now serves as one of the leaders of tax services for the Wilmington location.

Godwin currently serves on the board of directors for the Landfall Foundation, New Hanover County Community Foundation, and Community Boys and Girls Club. In addition, he serves on the UNCW MSA/Accounting Advisory Board. His Chamber experience includes a term as the First Vice Chairman. He will also serve as a member of the Chamber Education Foundation Board and on the Wilmington Business Development Board of Directors as the Chamber’s representative.

Attorney At Law, William Mason and Vanessa Marttinen with American Marketeur

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William Mason

After graduation from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University Law School, William Norton (Bill) Mason began his career in law in 1977 as an Assistant District Attorney in New Hanover and Pender Counties.

During the next four years, he prosecuted many types of cases in the State District and Superior Courts, including Driving While Impaired, Drug Offenses, Property Crimes, Embezzlement, Assaults, Rape and Murder. In 1981, he left the District Attorney’s Office and entered the private practice of law. While in private practice, he represented individuals charged with criminal offenses as well as individuals who were involved in civil litigation.

The criminal defendants he represented were charged with offenses ranging from Driving Offenses, Drug Offenses, Property Crimes, Embezzlement, Assaults, Rape and Murder. Civil cases he handled included divorces cases, contract disputes, property disputes and personal injury and wrongful death cases. In addition, Mr. Mason has prepared Wills and Trusts and assisted individuals with the administration of decedents’ estates.

In 1990, while still in private practice, he was appointed part-time United States Magistrate Judge. In that position, he presided over misdemeanor criminal cases in federal court and detention hearings in federal felony cases. He also issued warrants and search warrants. In 1995, Mr. Mason was appointed full-time United States Magistrate and served in that position until 2003.

In 2003, he was certified as a Superior Court mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Center and later certified as a mediator in federal court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Since 2003, he has continued in the practice of law and serving as a mediator in state and federal court cases.

Vanessa Marttinen

From 25 years of experience in marketing, business development & sales, the founder of American Marketeur developed a unique process to create successful marketing strategies for any business category or professional practice. Use us to gain control over the success of your marketing with a plan created just for your specific business.

American Marketeur is an independent LLC with the ability to provide completely unbiased consul to our clients. We never take mark ups on media buys in order to maintain our mission. American Marketeur includes a huge network of marketing providers including artists, graphic designers, web developers, mobile app programmers, database managers, social media experts, traditional media experts, printers, public relations professionals, communications gurus & copywriters. When you choose to use American Marketeur to implement your marketing strategy, you get the best solution for your needs.

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